Nursing Home Abuse in Georgia
It's estimated that more than one in 10 elderly Georgia residents are victims of elder abuse each year. If you or a loved one has been the victim of elder abuse or nursing home abuse, you must take immediate action to stop the abuse, and a Georgia nursing home abuse attorney can help you.
The Basics of Georgia Elder Abuse & Nursing Home Abuse
Elder abuse in general, and nursing home abuse in particular, comes in many different forms.
According to the Administration on Aging:
"Elder abuse is a term referring to any knowing, intentional, or negligent act by a caregiver or any other person that causes harm or a serious risk of harm to a vulnerable adult. Legislatures in all 50 states have passed some form of elder abuse prevention laws."
Elder abuse can include physical abuse, psychological or mental abuse, sexual assault, verbal abuse, neglect and financial exploitation. Victims of elder abuse can report the abuse to law enforcement authorities, which may take criminal action against the abuser. A victim and his or her family can also file a civil lawsuit against the perpetrator.
Nursing home abuse specifically describes the mistreatment of the elderly and other vulnerable adults who live in long-term and assisted-living facilities. Typically the perpetrator is a nursing home employee. Nursing home abuse presents a unique set of law enforcement challenges because it often goes unreported or there's a delay in reporting.
A federal report focusing on nursing home abuse in Georgia, Illinois and Pennsylvania reports:
"Local law enforcement officials indicated that they are seldom summoned to nursing homes to immediately investigate allegations of physical or sexual abuse. Some of these officials indicated that they often receive such reports after evidence has been compromised. Although abuse allegations should be reported to state survey agencies immediately, they often are not. For example, our review of state survey agencies’ physical and sexual abuse case files indicated that about 50 percent of the notifications from nursing homes were submitted 2 or more days after the nursing homes learned of the alleged abuse. These delays compromise the quality of available evidence and hinder investigations."
How a Georgia Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Can Help You
Although Georgia police can investigate allegations of nursing home abuse, that doesn't necessarily mean that the abuser will be criminally charged. But regardless of the outcome of a criminal investigation and even a criminal trial, a Georgia nursing home abuse lawyer can file a civil lawsuit against the abuser. If the lawsuit is successful, the victim can win damages, or compensation for the injuries suffered at the hands of the abuser.
You should contact Georgia nursing home abuse attorneys as soon as abuse is suspected. A lawyer can help collect and preserve evidence, talk to the victim as soon as possible while his or her memory is still fresh and help the victim get medical treatment, which can also be used to document the injuries. Your attorney can also help put pressure on law enforcement if they don't seem to be taking the allegations seriously.
If you decide to file a lawsuit against the abuser, you have a two-year window (known as the statute of limitations) from the date of the injury during which a lawsuit can be filed. Once two years have passed, you can no longer file a lawsuit. Because there is a fairly narrow window to take legal action, you'll want to hire a Georgia elder abuse attorney as soon as possible.
Find & Hire a Georgia Nursing Home Abuse Attorney
As you can see, it's important to hire Georgia nursing home abuse lawyers as soon as you become aware of or suspect that a family member may be an abuse victim.
If you need assistance finding a local nursing home abuse lawyer, then you've come to the right website. Attorneys.com has a network of nursing home abuse attorneys across Georgia, and we can quickly connect you to a lawyer in your area. Simply complete the form on this page or call us at 877-913-7222. We'll ask you a few easy questions, then put you in touch with an attorney in your area. Our service is fast, it's no-obligation and it's free.